[RPG] Potion of Longevity and a 9 year old character


Due to some wild magic fun, one of my characters is now 9 years old. To be a nice, kind DM, I decided it would not impact any of his combat stats, only affect social situations [mostly for the sake of fun, as nobody wants to have their character turned useless because of random chance, but there needed to be some impact.]

One of my other players has a potion of longevity, and noticed its wording states that you will be reduced to a minimum of 13 years of age. RAW it seems that this de-aging potion would turn a 9 year old into a 13 year old, regardless of the roll.

That doesn't seem quite right to me, but I don't want to unilaterally decide that it won't work without some thought.

How does the Potion of Longevity affect a character who, before ingesting the potion, is younger than the minimum age that the potion typically reduces a character to?

Best Answer

When you drink this potion your physical age is reduced by 1d6+6 years, to a minimum of 13 years.

You can't reduce something to a number lower than its stated minimum.

By a plain reading of the text, you could go ahead and roll a d6+6, get some number in the range [7,12], subtract that from 9, and the result of that calculation would lie in the range [-3,2]. Those are below the stated minimum, so are not the result. Logically, then, one of two things must happen:

(a) physical age is set to 13, the minimum allowed by the potion, or
(b) the potion has no effect.

If (a), then we have the contradictory reading that we've reduced your target's age to a number larger that it started with. I'd argue that one can't make something larger by reducing it, leaving (b) as the only possible reading.

The potion has no effect. (Unless, of course, this is not the first and the 10% aging clause is triggered.)